I say that not in celebration, but rather in reference to AN's bar stool mission statement. I definitely believe that Blez has achieved what he set out to and possibly more so. Rather than creating the random sports bar were you chat with some random fella or lady over a beer about whatever game is on, he's created our very own on-line version of Cheers ... "Where everybody knows your name . . . and they're always glad you came . . ."
He didn't just create a place where any and everyone could throw down the gauntlet to argue every point, raise a pint for every win or threaten to kill the manager with every out. He created a place where friends gather to be among friends and to chat about our common interests.
Naturally, our primary common interest is our boys in the Green and Gold as well as this great game of baseball. But when the events of the day demand that our attention is elsewhere, we can talk about that to, fairly, calmly and respectfully, because we're friends and that's what friends do.
Take Oaktoons diary, for instance. There are a lot of people on this site, myself included, who are very upset with certain members of our government and the way they have handled the catastrophe along the Gulf. These views certainly were not shared by all, however - neither were views of how evangelical we should be in our belief in the righteousness of helping out. Regardless, these discussions were carried on in an entirely friendly and respectful manner.
As I prepare to skip town for the weekend - I'll be totally incommunicado; I won't even know who won Saturday or Sunday's games until Monday evening - I'm just glad to know that good, honest, productive discourse is still possible in this day and age when we can sit down as a community and communicate together.
I'll leaving you with one parting thought. Over the years our country's idea of labor has largely shifted from the farm and the factory to a desk and a computer. Rather than making something, most of us simply spend our days communicating with our customers or the public. Despite these professional expertise, more and more of us these days are failing to communicate in any way with our neighbors and the outside world. So for those of us who don't build anything in our jobs, lets refocus ourselves on building relationships with our neighbors and our communities - and for the rest of us, lets do the same because, well, why not? It's just the right thing to do.
Go A's. Go AN!